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Character Build: The Dawnguard

Tags: #Race:Nord  #Character Build Juggernaut  #Character Build Warrior  #dawnguard 
  • Member
    March 12, 2013

    Sitting in a bar at table in a far corner, you drink your mead slowly. You watch a beautiful woman walk around, looking at different trophies hung on the walls when a strange man approaches you. "She's a beauty aint she?" he asks, a strong smell of liquor on his breath.

    "Yes" you say, "very beautiful."

    The man takes a long drink from his flagon then looks at you a moment. "So whats with your armor?" he asks, pointing at the insignia on your helmet.

    "I'm apart of the group called the Dawnguard" you take a drink of mead, "our specialty is vampire hunting."

    "I see.." he takes another long drink, "what made ya want to join a group like them?"

    "It's a long story." you say quietly.

    "I've got time." he says as he takes another drink.

    "Well, it was when I was rather young, ten, twelve at the most. My family lived out in the forest near Falkreath, our main source of money was our apiary. Anyway, one night my mother, father and myself were eating when our dog began to bark. My father went out to calm him and as he stepped out into the night, his body flew into the air. My mother and I ran to the door and called for him. We stood there a moment, and a large, dark figure with deep orange eyes just kind of floated in the distance. He made a swinging motion and my father's head rolled into small ring of light cast by our small lantern. My mother screamed and ran, but all I managed to do was drop to my knees and stare at the lifeless eyes of my father's severed head. I looked up, and caught the gaze of the dark figure again, but only for a moment. Faster than you could blink, the figure vanished, and I was thrown across the room by a barrage of bats that raced down the hall and disappeared. Moments later I heard a blood curdling scream and then dead silence. I called for my mother but heard nothing. I was shaking, breathing heavily, my heart was pounding, and I was all alone. I looked down the hall and was suddenly ripped up off the ground. I tried to scream but nothing came out, I couldn't breath. The figure spun me around and looked me in the eye, it was unlike anything I'd ever seen. It was huge, grayish colored, had large talons, fleshless wings, and floated above the ground. 

    "Whats wrong mortal? Alone? Scared?" the dark figure said with a slight laugh. He dropped me to the ground. "All of your kind are pathetic, weak, it disgusts me."

    At that moment my dog ran in barking and growling at the thing. Then he laughs again.

    "Whats this? Your little guard dog?" he asks mockingly. "Well then, just watch closely." he lifts his hand towards my dog and a bolt of red light surged forward and engulfed him. Then, over the next few seconds, tendrils of red energy returned towards the large figure and my dog slowly began to shrivel and die as its life was drained from its body. It then turned to me and said "I wont kill you outright, because that would be too boring for me. Instead, we'll see how badly you wish to live." He left and floated just outside the house. He grabbed our lantern and threw it inside, causing it to break and spread flaming oil all around. He laughed once more then broke the supports in front of the door making the roof collapse and barricade the door; trapping me inside. I barely managed to escape the flames by climbing up the chimney and jumping to the ground. The snow broke my fall, but I still broke my leg. I was dizzy from the pain and all that smoke, and the last thing I remember seeing was that dark figure looming over me and saying "Congratulations mortal, you get to live your pathetic life." And I blacked out. I woke up to a guard from Falkreath checking the cause of the smoke. As I grew, I studied all the books I could about the dark and evil forces both real and mythical, and I learned of an ancient form of Vampire known as a Vampire Lord. That's why I joined the Dawnguard." you say as you bring your flagon to your lips.

    The man just stares for a moment and drinks from his own cup. "That's a real sad story you have there stranger, I'm sorry for your loss." he looks back at the woman wandering the tavern. "She's beautiful, but those eyes of hers, they're unsettling. They have a hungry look to them."

    "Her name is Serana, and her eyes are like that because she's a Vampire." you finish your drink.

    "W-why aren't you killing her? She's a monster!" he says as he grabs the small blade tucked into his belt.

    Serana looks in there direction and listens carefully but doesn't draw attention to herself.

    "I haven't killed her because she and I have been through more together than most soldiers have been through in two wars. And I love her. Even tried to marry her, though she politely rejected my proposal, I could tell that she loves me as well. She is one of the things I swore to kill, but she is more human than many I've met who claim to be. So I'll say this one time and one time only, if you, or anyone else does anything to harm or attempt to kill her." you quickly pull your ax from its ring and sink it into the table "I'll treat you like I treat evil beings."

    The man quickly ran out of the building and Serana walks over and sits next to you.

    "You alright?" she asks.

    "Yeah, we should probably leave soon though." you say as you pull your ax from the table and drop it back into its ring.



    RACE: Nord

    STONES: Warrior stone for leveling, Lord stone for better defences


    Archery: starting point of most battles, send out several bolts from your crossbow and switch to your waraxe as the enemy closes in.

    One-handed: axes are your main close quarters weapon, dealing a good amount of damage as well as causing anyone unfortunate to be struck by it to bleed out mid fight.

    Block: your main form of defense, absorbing damage, staggering the enemy, a great way to survive an onslaught of attacks from your Vampire foes.


    Heavy armor (light armor if you prefer): I listed heavy armor here because of how well it couples with Block. having a decent heavy armor skill will allow you to shrug off hits your opponent land that you cant quite block with your shield. Light armor works well with a shield as well, but in group fights where you can end up with people behind you, you have less protection due to the simple facts that light armor is weaker and you can block attacks hitting your back.

    Smithing: makes your gear and weapons more powerful to better end the "lives" of the undead

    Enchanting: further your defensive and offensive capabilities with passive and active enchantments

    MAX LEVEL: 51

    STAT SPREAD; MAGIKA, HEALTH, STAMINA: 0/6/4 (you wont have much need for magic use, you'll be using strong enchantments on your weapons and armor)


    Dawnguard Full helmet

    Dawnguard Heavy Armor (resist poison, fortify health regen.)

    Dawnguard Heavy Gauntlets (fortify block, fortify one-handed)

    Dawnguard Heavy Boots (fortify stamina, fortify stamina regen. [good for those long battles and helps with doing many shield bashes and power strikes])

    Dawnguard Rune Shield

    Dawnguard War axe (high fire damage, 1 second soul trap [to help with keeping your weapons charged] you can use the Rune Axe if you prefer)

    Enhanced Dwarven Crossbow (high fire damage, 4 second soul trap [to help with keeping your weapons charged] couple it with exploding fire bolts to deal devastating fire damage to undead enemies)

    SPECIAL ITEM: Star of Azura (so you don't have to worry about not having soulgems)

    POWERS: Beast Form (Werewolves are the natural born enemies of the Vampires, it's a good thing to have if there are large groups you need to cut through and having it gives you full immunity to diseases that might hinder your Human form)

    One handed:
     armsman 3/5, fighting stance, hack and slash, savage strike

    Block: all but leave shield wall at 1/5

    Archery: overdraw 3/5, critical shot, eagle eye, hunter's discipline, ranger, power shot, quick shot

    Heavy armor: All but reflect blows, Juggernaut at 2/5

    Smithing: Steel smithing, Dwarven smithing, arcane blacksmith, Elven smithing, Advanced Armors

    Enchanting: Full middle branch, fire enchanter

    Beast Form: all

    REQUIRED QUESTS: Dawnguard quest line, Lost relic quests, Companions to get Beast Form, The  Black Star





    All you need to change is archery for restoration. Getting rid of archery isn't that bad in exchange for restoration because of the spell "Vampire's Bane". So you don't need to worry about getting the enhanced dwarven crossbow. The perks you'll take for restoration are

    • spell level up to adept
    • respite
    • regeneration
    • necromage
    • recovery 2/2
    • avoid death


    You can leave the stone as warrior if you wish, but I recommend using mage to level up your restoration skill since you'll be using your other combat related skill more often than restoration, or for an even better evening out you can use the lover stone.

    I chose not to change any of the enchantments on the armor for this because I feel it's unnecessary, but if you'd like a little more casting power for yourself feel free to alter the enchantments to fit restoration. 


    REQUIRED QUESTS: Dawnguard quest line, Lost relic quests, Companions to get Beast Form, The  Black Star


    Build for Two-Handed/Destruction

    Stat spread: magic, health, stamina- 0/5/5

    Two-Handed: Barbarian 2/5, Champions stance, Skull Crusher 3/3, Devastating blow

    Block: Shield wall 5/5, Quick Reflexes, Power bash, Deadly bash, Disarming bash

    Destruction: Novice casting, Augmented flames 2/2

    Archery: Overdraw 2/5, Critical shot 1/3, none in Steady hand or Bull's eye

    Heavy armor: Juggernaut 4/5, and everything else

    Changed gear: Waraxe and shield will be switched out for the Dawnguard Runehammer.

    Your other perks and gear wont be changed, you will still use the same enchantments on your armor, for this version of the Dawnguard, I do highly recommend using Heavy armor over Light armor because of the less effective blocking you'll be using. This build also doesn't focus at all on the casting aspect of Destruction magic, it only uses the fire/damage boost for leveling it up and getting the Augmented flames perk. I increased the Juggernaut on this one to help with the lack of a shield and lowered the Archery perks because a majority of the fighting will be done with the Runehammer.

    Max level: 51


    As a member of the Dawnguard, you must kill all vampires and unholy, evil beings that you hear about. The only exception being Serana because of the bond the two of you build during the Dawnguard story line. Just to follow along slightly with the intro. try proposing to Serana. She'll reject you, but you still love her, and therefore cannot marry anyone else because of your strong feelings for Serana. Despite Serana being a powerful follower, you need to follow the promise you make to her mother about keeping her safe, and have Serana stay at Fort Dawnguard when you have a "dangerous" mission to go on so she avoids getting harmed. DO NOT transform into a Werewolf while around Serana, she trusts you greatly, but as a Vampire she is extremely uncomfortable around anyone who is in the form of a Beast or who are Werewolves in a Human form, therefore if you choose to finish the Companions quest line, you must do so alone out of respect for Serana's nervousness around people with the Blood of the Beast. I'm sure you'll be wanting to purchase a home, so the only one you may buy is Lakeview Manor in the forest by Falkreath, this represents the plot of land your family owned while you were a young boy. Make a good weapon for Serana, but make it a dagger, you first meet her equipped with an Elven dagger, so allow her to stay in her  comfort zone. Smith her a Dwarven dagger and improve it to be more powerful and enchant it for her. Do not give her a weapon with fire enchantments, she may be using it but just holding it makes her a little uneasy. Use enchantments like frost damage and drain stamina so she makes her prey incapable of running away. DO NOT run away from a fight, if you start getting low on health and have no potions on you, try backing into a corner and blocking, your health and stamina will return quicker than usual due to your armor enchantments, and when you have enough to survive, transform. But remember you cannot do this if you have Serana with you, but if you have her you shouldn't need to worry, she'll kill whoever you aren't focused on.


    I added in a Two-handed fighting section based off of a recommendation in the comments. I changed up the perks to try and fix the overpowered problem that I saw a few people mention. I'll add in a section about a way to play the Dawnguard as primarily a caster later on. I hope the changes I made improved the build instead of making it worse, but let me know what you think of the changes in the comments and I'll work on it based off what I read.

    Pictures taken from

  • Member
    March 12, 2013

    I like the walk up in the bar intro, but there isn't nearly enough gameplay information. Explain your major perk, weapon, armor, and power / ability choices. For instance, why don't you use the dawnguard rune axe?

  • Member
    March 12, 2013

    Looks like you've fallen into the trap of all backstory no build. Try adding some images and more actual gameplay info.

  • Member
    March 12, 2013

    Got a reply to this a lot quicker than I thought. I'll work on putting in more info. for why I chose the Beast Form, Armor type, Weapon type etc. But as for not using the Rune Axe, that was simply a personal preference. While I do like the Rune Axe, I don't use it because I enjoy using as many custom things as possible. The shield being an exception in this case. Thanks for the feed back.

  • Member
    March 12, 2013
    Would be advantageous to discuss the pros of the dawnguard faction, not just the equipment. One of the best parts of joining the dawnguard (in my opinion) is that you get access to master trainers in the following: -archery (sorine) -smithing (gunmar) -restoration (Florentius) -heavy armour (Isran) As an added bonus, Sorine is also a general goods merchant so you are able to buy training and sell her anything to get your money back without needing to invest perks into speech.
  • Member
    March 12, 2013

    Yeah, I'll admit I spent more time writing the intro. story than putting together the gameplay and build, I'll use the excuse of its passed midnight and I'm tired, I'll be editing it at some point and hopefully it turns out better than this first attempt. Thanks for the feed back.

  • Member
    March 12, 2013

    Actually didn't think of talking about the master trainers that the Dawnguard has available to you. The archery, smithing, and heavy armor trainers are definitely something I'll put in. Thanks for the feed back.

  • Member
    March 12, 2013

    Make sure to put "Character Build" in the title.

  • Member
    March 12, 2013

    Good writing! Add some more images and gameplay info and its good to go!

  • Member
    March 12, 2013

    Wow, completely forgot to put that in, haha. Thanks for pointing that out. Thanks for the feed back.